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Looking for an office perk that fosters creativity, helps people to grow and learn, and adds a touch of coziness to the office? Forget foosball tables and pinball machines and just hit the books. 

An office library might not be among the first “cool office perk” that pops into your head. More likely, you picture extravagant amenities that migrated from the start up world into the corporate office: ping-pong tables, nap pods, or pinball machines.

But, at least in our opinion, the office library hits the spot when you want to provide something more than just an entertaining gadget to chill out or blow off some steam. In particular, an office library also helps you make the office more inspiring, more human-oriented, and focused on employees' needs.

There are lots of benefits to having your own book corner. The most obvious one is that it serves as the perfect place for employees to search for inspiration and research, especially when facing a creativity block. In the longer term, a library creates avenues to promote self-improvement, continuous learning, and broader horizons. Well-equipped bookshelves can send everyone a meaningful message that the organization values reading and gathering new knowledge. In a rapidly changing business landscape, the focus on learning and researching can be massively undervalued. An available array of books and resources put learning in clearer focus. 

The office library can also offer an opportunity to bring employees together and learn from one another. As executive design director Dave Hoffer suggests, the library encourages employees to socialize by swapping books and connecting over them. Employees who bring in a book for the library can note its theirs. When another employee picks up the book, they have a quick connection to the person who brought in the book. It’s operates like an autonomous readings club. What can be more unifying for a team than exchanging opinions about a freshly read novel, self-improvement book, or the newest big idea? 

Let's also remember that not many things make the atmosphere in any space more cozy, homey, and stylish than the colorful flourish of book spines on shelves. 

If we’ve convinced you of starting your own office library and design "by the book(s)," read on for your must-have titles.

ShoeDog

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Nike founder Phil Knight started as a distributor for a Japanese sports shoe company. He eventually turned his “side project” into one of the biggest brands in the world. Knight’s journey is gripping, inspiring, and surprisingly entertaining. It also shows us that sometimes the biggest things have small (and unexpected) beginnings.

Books2

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea

How to transform an initially unsuccessful idea into a global brand? Marc Randolph's memoir about Netflix's early days are full of insightful lessons and engaging stories about reshaping a money-losing, sinking DVD-rental business into a successful video-on-demand unicorn. It's fascinating to discover that most of Netflix's novelties, like the watchlist and subscription model, were implemented before Netflix became a digital company. This book provides an excellent example of the importance of innovating ahead of a technology curve.

In Praise of Slow

Carl Honore's global bestseller critiques the “cult of speed,” or the compulsiveness and rush of the modern world, including our work. He argues that by slowing down or simply balancing the pace of our work, we can be more mindful, happier, and more effective. Apart from plenty of eye-opening observations, adding this to your office library sends your team a message that your organization understands that comfort and well-being create better results than hasty, chaotic, and futile work.

Influence

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Listed on Fortune’s “75 smartest business books” list, this wellworn favorite by Robert Cialdini is a great starting point for understanding psychology. Cialdini's publication focuses on a few essential rules that help us persuade others, like the rule of reciprocity, commitment or consistency. Whether your teams deal with clients, direct-to-consumer, or simply other colleagues and teams, it’s good to have this “influential” title on hand.

 

Those are definitely our top four books, but if you want to get going on a whole library, check out this extensive list. And, to quick start your office library, we have the perfect solution: our super easy and beautiful office pod, Jetson, can be ordered with additional shelves and accessories to display books, magazines, and catalogs along its walls.

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You may have heard us call our new office pod, Jetson, “innovative-driven,” “earth-friendly,” and “people-focused.” And you may be thinking, “Hey, that’s a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo.” But rest assured, here are a few reasons why it’s just the truth! Regarding Jetson and designing our acoustic pods, we not only talk the talk, we also walk the walk. 

 

Pioneering assembly system 

Jetson is designed to be the first truly DIY office pod that could be built during a casual lunch break by two people. To make it happen, we needed to come up with completely new technology. 

The key element of Jetson’s revolutionary assembly system is our patent-pending system of connecting walls that require no tools. This now makes what has traditionally been the most difficult part of constructing an office pod similar to playing with Legos. All resources required are 2 people and some spare time (30 to 60 minutes, depending on the pod size). No drilling, no bolts, no complicated tools, or special technical skills are needed. 

We believe that listening to music makes most things easier. So for those who will decide to do the assembly themselves, our team has created two dedicated Spotify playlists. They both include songs that will boost your motivation and set the right mood. And it's not a coincidence that they take 30 and 60 minutes

Jetson_Assembly

Holistically environment-friendly 

 “Sustainable” may be one of the most overused adjective about any product. But at Mute, we really mean it. When we developed Jetson, we didn’t only want to include “energy-saving features” (though it has them) or several “sustainable solutions” (though it is equipped with many). We wanted Jetson to be genuinely and holistically environment-friendly from every point of view, starting from materials through maintenance, conservation to energy-saving.  

Unlike most acoustic pods, Jetson is built of aluminum, regarded as the world’s most sustainable building material. Sometimes it’s even called “green metal.” Why? Firstly, it’s easy-recyclable material—every batch of material is more or less 70 percent recycled and ready to be reused over and over again. Secondly, aluminum makes Jetson super-durable, meaning it will hold up for years or even decades. And, thanks to aluminum, Jetson is 30 percent lighter than similar office pods on the market, leading to lower CO2 emissions in both manufacturing and transport. 

“Sustainable” also means long-serving. And that concept doesn’t end with durable materials. That’s why Jetson is maintainable and suitable for quick and unproblematic repair. Every element of its construction—including its walls, doors, and ceiling—is easily replaceable. So, if needed, the service is quick and cheap. Basically, it comes down to ordering missing parts and replacing them. No more unrepairable malfunctions right after the warranty period!

Lastly, Jetson's power consumption is 25 percent lower than similar office pods. That’s because every electrical device inside is meticulously chosen to keep power usage to a minimum. We spent dozens of hours going through hundreds of devices and picked only those matching the highest power efficiency standards. 

Jetson_Library_Set

Flexible accessories system

Yes, Jetson is an acoustic pod, but it was also designed to provide additional functions too. Dedicated accessories installed on the walls, like shelves and whiteboards, make it more useful, universal, and adjustable to fit every office’s needs and vision. 

There are two sets of add-ons that users can choose from. The “Library Set” includes deep and shallow shelves, bookends, and additional accessories to display books, photos, and catalogs. The “Note Set,” includes a whiteboard to note down your boldest ideas during brainstorms. 

What’s really game-changing about the accessory add-ons is that they can be placed virtually anywhere on Jetson’s walls both inside or outside the pod, thanks to the smart and innovative system of hidden wall notches installed every 4.5 centimeters. The system allows reconfiguring the set effortlessly. All you need to do is grab a shelf, lift it gently to remove it from notches, and then hang it at another place or height. 

These are only a few of Jeton’s fantastic and useful innovations. If you want to learn more about our Jetson’s novelties, check out our website or listen to the audio guide we created especially for Jetson. Or better yet, experience Jetson for yourself at a trade fair or one of our showrooms across Europe. You can find us next at Orgatec in Cologne, Germany, from October 24 to 29. See you there! 

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Is acoustic comfort in a workplace a luxury? We think not. So some time ago, we decided to create the most universal office pod on the market. Hundreds of workdays (and several implemented innovations) later, here it is. Meet Jetson. 

As the hybrid-work model is here to stay, resulting growing need for private spaces in offices, acoustic pods are becoming a must-have element of every modern workplace. Knowing that, we decided to develop the most accessible product on the market. Jetson is innovative, ergonomic, stylish, and affordable at the same time. 

With Jetson, we pushed the envelope of how acoustic pods are built and designed, for the first time using extruded aluminum to make it lighter, more durable, and most importantly, more sustainable. 

There will be many more occasions to talk about its unique features, so for now, we just recommend checking out Jetson’s dedicated website and the 45-second, promotional video we’ve prepared especially for its premiere. 

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It’s been a while! After a four-year break, the next Orgatec edition is on the way. And it goes without saying that we are going to be there, presenting our latest, revolutionary products designed for the “New Visions of Work” (which is the theme of this edition). Come to see the next big things: the upcoming room-in-room system for a new level of office flexibility and an innovative acoustic pod – Jetson.  Find us in hall 10.1, stand no. E020.

Orgatec is the “Super Bowl for workplace design”: the biggest and most anticipated trade fair hosted biannually in Cologne, gathering the hottest brands, manufacturers, furniture distributors, and architects to network, share ideas, and discuss new trends. This year’s edition is more awaited than ever as it’s the first in 4 years (for obvious reasons), and everyone is excited to see what all the brands have been working on during this whole time. 

We’ve also been busy developing from scratch two exciting products, exploring at the same time new ways of designing and manufacturing. Now, two months before the “big day,” we are ready to amaze you with our offer’s newcomers on our meticulously designed, dazzling 300m2 stand. 

What have we prepared? Firstly, we will officially launch Jetson - our brand-new family of innovative, ergonomic, and budget-friendly acoustic pods. Those who could take a glimpse of it so far appreciated its smart innovations like easiest-in-class assembly, dedicated add-on sets, and effective acoustic properties. We can’t wait to see your reaction! 

We will also demonstrate for the first time a brand new room-in-room modular system that makes designing spaces easier than ever. Multifunctional, beautiful, fully configurable, and acoustically friendly like all our products. We are sure it will reshape the way you think about flexible office spaces. 

And finally, what would an Orgatec be without a few less-formal meetups? This year, we’ve prepared something special for our partners and friends: everyday afternoon get-together with drinks and snacks, as well as meetings with our designers and acoustic experts.

Orgatec Hall Plan

For more details, you’ve got to visit hall 10.1 stand no. E020. See you there! 

And by the way, if you’re interested in coming up, just let us know at marketing(at)mute.design. We have a stock of free tickets for our partners. Be our guest!  

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Widex – the single world leading manufacturer of the hearing aids raised the quality index by seven percentage points using a mix of our top sound absorbers and privacy screens solutions.
Trendee

Coworking has risen in popularity over the past decade. Driven by trends in remote work and “digital nomad” culture, the coworking movement peaked when WeWork, a coworking “start up,” reached unicorn status. Although we have heard a lot lately about the remote work trend rising, there is also an increasing demand for flexible working arrangements suitable for co-working or hybrid work.

The truth is that coworking is growing and has a slew of benefits for entrepreneurs. Coworking remains an especially popular option among freelancers who wish to work around others, small start-up companies that don’t need a huge office space, or “digital nomads,” people who fulfill their dreams of travel and adventure through remote digital work. 

Even if you’re mostly working in the office these days, coworking spaces make for excellent design fodder. That’s because coworking buildings need to provide open-office areas, meeting rooms, and private workspaces—all in one—to offer options for quiet, productive, or collaborative environments that serve all its members. Here are a few of the most interesting, unique and functional coworking spots we found. And, since summer is underway, we’re also using this opportunity to take you around the world to some of the best coworking/vacation destinations. Use this list for your next digital nomad adventure or as inspiration for the next office redesign. 

Gato Azul
Image Source: Gato Azul Facebook

Canary Islands - Gato Azul

The Canary Islands are a classic vacation destination, known for beautiful sunny beaches and a quaint atmosphere. If you really want a unique coworking experience, head to Gato Azul (“Blue Cat”) in the cute town of La Orotava on the island of Tenerife. 

This beautiful co-working/co-living space is located in an ancient house, with all the classic touches like wooden shutters, wood floors, and an open courtyard. It even features a gorgeous terrace for working or relaxing. Gato Azul notes that it offers “silent, mid-noise and communal working areas,” an extremely important concept when it comes to designing highly functional workspaces. After all, sometimes we need absolute silence for deep work and other times we need a bit more interaction to get those big ideas started. 

Plus, if you’d like to stay a while (and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? This is Tenerife, after all), you’re welcome to book an extended stay in one of Gato Azul’s private or shared rooms. 

Hive
Image Source: The Hive

Thailand - The Hive

With several spaces in Bangkok, The Hive in Thailand offers a stylish interior and gorgeous sweeping views of the city. There’s even a rooftop cafe to keep you caffeinated throughout the day. Plus, the Hive’s combination of indoor and outdoor spaces to relax, converse, and work provides coworking members a nice balanced atmosphere, especially if one needs a break or a change of scenery. Also, there’s an added productivity benefit: switching up our workspace (even the smallest bit) can keep us feeling energized and creative when we’re stuck in a rut. 

Malin
Image Source: The Malin Facebook Page

New York City – The Malin

The Malin’s tagline is “A space to work beautifully”—and they mean it. The coworking spot, in Manhattan (and coming soon to Brooklyn), leaves no detail to chance. According to an interview with The Malin CEO Ciaran McGuigan in Metropolis Mag, one of the space’s main goals was to create “a welcoming workspace with superior craftsmanship and tailored amenities, actually designed for work, with no distractions.” And The Malin seems to have indeed achieved that goal. The colors and materials promote a sense of calm and wellbeing, while varied areas allow you to switch up your workspace based on your needs. 

There are also plenty of spaces to take a moment to relax and recharge in the beautiful atmosphere and on the plush furniture. With the New York City hustle and bustle just a step 

Berlin – Edge Grand Central

Berlin has really come into its own in recent years as a technology hotspot in Europe. Along with its incredible creative and art offerings, the city’s start up scene has grown immensely. People come from all over the world to work here—whether that’s for a few weeks while experiencing the city’s great clubbing and arts scene or for a longer contract at one of the city’s exciting start ups. 

Edge Grand Central is housed alongside the breathtaking central train station (hence the name Edge Grand Central), so it’s especially convenient for those just traveling through. The space offers sweeping open spaces and calm, nature-inspired design focused on wellbeing and productivity.  

Trendee
Image source: Trendee.fr

Cannes - Trendee

If a little bit of Instagram inspo helps you get in the mood to mix work and play, come on down to Trendee in Cannes. This slice of heaven mixes functionality with photograph-worthy design and a cozy home feel. Don’t you want to stay just a little while longer? The green hues and organic-style furniture make this place a relaxed and natural place to work—if you must while on the French Riviera. You can also reserve a meeting room if you need a bit of privacy or are bringing a host of traveling-working companions along. 

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this (coworking) tour around the world and perhaps even feel inspired to make a trip of your own soon. Whether you're ready to jet-set or not, looking more deeply at coworking spaces has the potential to help us better design and organize our own workspaces. 

When we start to understand how to serve the needs of a wide range of people and teams, we can better provide the varied workplaces needed to make our own offices productive, beautiful, and joyful places to work!

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Mute Future Office Render
How Does The Future of Workspaces Look Like?
4 min read

We have to embrace change, take employees’ needs seriously, and work with them to grow the company.

2020 has been a year of obstacles to overcome for many companies. 2021 is seen as a year of change and renewals.

A rethinking of the way we work and the design of workspaces was necessary. Now a new normal has to be applied in many office spaces. 

 

Working as a Team in a Redesigned Office

Despite the advantages of working from home, most employees hope to return to the office after the pandemic or at least find part-time remote solutions that let them work in the office and from home. Many miss the contact with their co-workers, especially since social connections build trust and bonds in teams. 

Digitalization became even more important, and many organizations developed great solutions to connect teams. Socialising cannot happen from the home office or through video calls only, and the office experience finds new value. 

During the lockdown, companies had to find ways to have a proper workflow and processes while working remotely. For many, this led to an optimisation of work processes that can easily be adapted to the office’s work. This also means that offices need to be redesigned in order to provide the right working spaces for team meetings, collaborations, and efficient working in privacy. 

Mute Future Office Render
Mute Future Office Render

Three Advantages of a New Office

The design of a new office is connected to many advantages you will have as a company and especially for your employees to work effectively without being stressed and being under mental pressure. 

 

1. More Privacy

Working in a large office space often takes away privacy and the possibility to work in peace. Many employees struggle with productivity and efficiency in shared areas. But new offices in 2021 will be different. With the right steps and measures, companies will be able to create privacy and develop a sense of psychological comfort and security. Ideas can spread when people feel at ease. Privacy screens or a further distance to colleagues help with the acoustics around you, and protect you from noises in adjacent workspaces. Solutions like acoustic pods will give you the ability to focus on your work and hold uninterrupted meetings. 

Mute Space XL with Closed Door in Snow White

Space XL for the biggest brainstorms

Mute Space L Meeting Pod in Snow White

Space L Meeting for a project meetup

2. Less Working Stations More Co-working

New offices will provide more than just some desks, chairs and the usual office environment. They will be collaboration spaces. As per Workspace Utlization Index by Density 76% of the time meeting rooms are occupied by maximum 4 people and 86% of the time by maximum 6 people. This is why companies will more often choose pods instead of building conference rooms. Teams need a place to work on a large scale and complex projects without sending mails around to communicate. Sitting together they will be able to move forward with their project way faster and more efficient.

The JLL’s Global findings on workplace re-entry during COVID-19 research has shown that organizations have been increasingly allocating less square footage to individual desks. It’s clear that safely re-entering the workplace will require a reversal of that densification trend, at least for the near-term.

Mute Space L Double Pod in Snow White

Space L Double for long project sessions

Mute Space M Double Pod in Snow White

Space M Double for quick one-to-ones

3. Flexibility and Mobility

Future work spaces require more flexibility. Furniture and acoustic solutions you choose need to be easy to adjust to individual requirements and situations. The number of people using it may vary, so agile solutions are needed. With our pods you can change the setup and the purpose or move them around to easily rearrange office according to your needs.

Mute Wall with whiteboard

Wall on coasters with whiteboard stimulates the creativity

Agility and Flexibility for a Better Work Environment

Adaptability, agility, and flexibility define the office spaces of the future. We have to embrace change, take employees’ needs seriously, and work with them to grow the company. In 2020 companies were in a short period of hibernation. This year many are working full speed on new solutions to adapt to the new needs of employees and a work environment that is important for our mental and physical health.

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Mute Space L Pod in Office Interior
2021 – New Collection, New Catalogue, New Mute
3 min read

We have taken the time and gathered all our creativity and effort to proudly present not only a new collection to our customers in 2021 but way more.

Every two years, Mute publishes a new catalogue. 2021 is going to be special, though. We will show you not only new solutions for making the most of your office or commercial space with our pods, acoustic lighting, or other acoustic solutions, but we will also present a new colour and fabric palette for the latest season. 

Mute Space XL with Closed Door in Snow White

Space XL for the biggest brainstorms

Mute Space L Double Pod in Snow White

Space L Double for a project meetup

New Spaces and Mobility

2020 has shown companies clearly that the way we are using office spaces is changing. Conference rooms that can hold 20 people are becoming history in offices. Teams work closely together and need spaces to seclude themselves for one on one conversations or meetings. Therefore, our Space family has expanded.

Our Space S will not only be available in the standard version but also as the model Video conference so that video calls can be more goal-oriented without any distractions from outside. The new Space L Double comes with even more space for two for video conferences and focused working. Additionally, Space XL will join the pod family in 2021 and provide sound-absorbing space for up to six people. 

No worries, our previous versions and sizes of our pods will still be available as we aim to meet all our customers’ needs.

At the same time, flexibility has become a huge must in offices. Therefore, we improved the functionality of our pods to the extent that will surprise you. You can now easily rearrange your office with only two people by moving the pods wherever you like, thanks to additional casters. This will help to optimise your office for a better co-working environment. Tweak the office space and the location of your pods and learn what works best for you and your company.

Acoustic Lighting Products by Mute

New Category

Why stop with widening a product range we already have and not add a new one to the Mute family? To bring even more comfort to commercial spaces, we brought acoustic solutions and lighting into symbiosis by designing a collection of acoustic lamps. These will provide comfortable lighting or bring coziness and modern design to spaces and create a noise-resistant environment due to their high sound absorption. We will offer four acoustic lamps – Bell, Loop, Line, and Mist – all pioneering in acoustics and beautiful in the craft. Bell and Loop come in three sizes, three and two light source options, and dozens of fabric possibilities. Line comes in six sizes and two light source options, with a wide upholstery selection, while Mist has two pendant and two-floor sizes and a dedicated selection of fabrics to bring an element of the mysterious for every room.

Bell and Loop are available now and will be joined by the offer by Mist and Line in March 2021. 

 

New Palette

We all know that we calm the atmosphere in the space not only through high-performance acoustic products but also through well-balanced colours. Therefore, we decided to bring also a new colour palette for our products. Our new selection of earthy tones meets warm yellow, dusk blue, and ceramic red to bring a wide range of choices and bring harmony to every space.

New Catalogue

Are you curious to have a closer look at our products for 2021? Don’t wait and see our acoustic solutions that will help you create the space of your dreams and spread an elegant and cozy atmosphere in there, and order your sound solutions in January 2021 already. 

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Mute Bell Lamp in office interior with tabletop beneath and people talking
The Importance of Light in Your Office
4 min read

Tired eyes, a cracked psyche, mood swings, headaches – these can all be effects of the wrong lighting.

The lighting of a room influences us in our work and concentration and has a decisive effect on our productivity and well-being. Tired eyes and headaches can be consequences of wrong lighting in a room.

The right light, therefore, has a big impact on a pleasant working atmosphere. So while designing an office, thinking beyond desks and technical equipment is required. We will tell you how companies and organizations can ensure the right light environment in their offices. 

 

The Effect of Daylight and the Right Desk Set-up on Our Health

There is no denying that daylight is important to our productivity and the efficiency of our work. But it’s not just professionally crucial to work in the right setting – our health will thank us for it too. Tired eyes, a cracked psyche, mood swings, headaches – these can all be effects of the wrong lighting. As Philips makes clear in a report, sunlight and natural light, in particular, have an impact on our well-being and work performance. To support employees in their work, companies need to create a pleasant lighting atmosphere in the office.  

Mute Ligh Bell and Macbook in Office Interior

Bell with GOLF LED creates warm ambient lighting

Mute Lighting Line in  Office Interior

Line with double LEDs emits bright beam

Different Types of Lighting to Create a Perfect Environment

Different types of lightning can support employees in the way they work and help companies to provide an atmosphere that will contribute to their well-being at the workplace. 

Task Lighting vs. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the general lighting of a room. It substitutes as natural light and provides the overall illumination of a room. Chandeliers, ceiling lights, and even wall lights that lighten up more than on spot create an even lighting level and a relaxing environment in offices and public areas like restaurants, receptions and hotel lobbies.

The use of task lighting is already included in its name as it is light at a specific spot that is used to be able to do certain tasks like writing or reading. This type of light helps to stimulate our brain and supports us when we have to concentrate and focus. Therefore, light sources like pendant lamps above desk areas, desk lamps and swing arm lamps, fall under the category of task lighting. They are great solutions for work stations, conference rooms and open-plan offices. 

Lighting levels

While designing spaces, companies need to ensure the necessary illumination levels for each possible area. To do so, they have to consider “Lux” and “Lumens”. Lumen is the total amount of light emitted in all directions from the source. Lux is a measure of illuminance – a total amount of light that falls on a Surface. The same lamp will deliver different amounts of luxes depending on how high it is hung. At the same time different areas require different numbers of luxes. Workstations and meeting rooms need to ensure 500 lux, and reception desks need 300 lux. Entrance halls, on the other hand, only need 100 lux.

Light Colour 3K or 4K

LED lamps and luminaires are available in several colour temperatures. Lamp colour is often a personal choice that is made depending on the environment that should be created. However, most common in office and public spaces are 3000k and 4000k lights. 4000k is a cooler and whiter light that helps to keep people focused. It is mainly used for task lighting. 3000k light, on the other hand, brings a warmer light to a room but may make people a little sleepy after working in this light for a few hours. 

Mute Bell Lamp in office interior with tabletop beneath and people talking

Added Options For an Even Better Light Set-up

Additional functions of lightning can provide even more comfort. Very bright light can be dimmed thanks to a Dali dimmer. That way, you can enjoy a little break or adjust the light according to the room and the setting. The microprism diffuser provides a high level of visual comfort. It is ideal for lighting workplaces with its special prismatic structure, as it has low glare due to its special design. With it you can ensure perfect lighting conditions, especially in the workplace. 

The right lighting is essential in modern offices. Therefore, you should focus on designing an environment that supports creativity and productivity and increases everyone’s well-being. The right lighting solutions not only bring comfort and a pleasant atmosphere but are also flexible and smart and can be adjusted to individual needs easily.

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Maja Ganszyniec with Mist Floor - Portrait Image
Interview with Maja Ganszyniec
4 min read

When you’re creating something new, it’s good to ask yourself if you are adding something interesting to the surroundings without taking too much from the environment.

– Maja Ganszyniec

Meet the figure behind our Mist family, a virtuoso of product and furniture design – Maja Ganszyniec from Studio Ganszyniec. Maja is a designer with a comprehensive approach to the design process, graduated from Design Product at Royal College of Art and Interior Architecture on Cracow Academy of Fine Arts.

Over the last ten years she has been working across Europe on projects for leading brands such as: IKEA, Leroy Merlin, Amica, Mothercare, Orange, Dupont, Camper, Comforty, PayPass, Touchideas and Bellamy. Her works had been shown on recognised exhibitions in Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and published by Domus, Icon, Abitare and Wallpaper Magazines.

Mute Mist Pendant in Office Interior
Mute Mist Floor in Office Interior

Mute: The past years have been busy for you. You’ve been working on few collections for IKEA, developing your own brand and delivering projects for your long-term clients. What was the most interesting and inspiring aspect of creating Mist lamps? How do they complete your work?  

Maja Ganszyniec: It’s my first project that combines two very interesting sides – acoustics and light. Until now my projects mainly focused on more classical interior design elements. However, the concept of acoustic comfort was always very close and personal to me, because noise reduction becomes a more and more challenging issue, mostly in open space offices.

M: Do you have a theory why?

MG: Partly because open space concept became so popular and has been implemented almost in every bigger office. The general idea of open plan office, developed in 50s in Germany, was meant to foster communication within the company. But lately it went the other way around. Several studies discovered that open office plan decreases number of face-to-face interactions between employees. Plenty of workers sit in a headphones or in conference rooms.  It’s simply because open offices are full of noise and people observe on a daily basis that it has a negative impact on their work. On top of that people’s work is becoming more complicated, requiring more time for a focused work. Recently I’ve observed many new solutions for noise reduction in business spaces and I’m happy to add something innovative to this emerging trend. 

M: So why did you find designing the acoustic lighting an interesting project if there are so many solutions already on the market? 

MG: In my opinion, they are effective, yet very similar to each other. From an aesthetic point of view, they often lack of something unique that could make them an acoustic tool and also a piece of decoration. To me, it was a chance to create one of the first decorative acoustic products that could look great in modern-designed offices, in fancy restaurants, or a glamorous hotel.

M: So, the goal was to create something unique but also practical and useful? 

MG: I believe that in modern interior design, every inch and square meter has to be used effectively. I’ve observed that in some offices plenty of space is taken by acoustic products with only one function. In my opinion, the era of one-function products is coming to an end as we have less and less space, and we’ve got to make the most of it. That is why the Mist Lamp is multifunctional: sound absorber, space divider, and lamp. 

M: Only three functions, nothing more? 🙂

MG: On top of it, there is an inductive charger or USB A+C port on the surface of every Mist lamp, so we can call it a device charger as well. 

Maja Ganszyniec Portrait Image

M: What’s behind all these functions? What was your big idea?

MG: I wanted to create something that could be a practical space divider but with some subtlety to it. That’s why the context of light is so important. Most of these kinds of products are just walls. I’ve observed that every traditional space divider makes a place a little bit darker and more gloomy. I chose a delicately transparent fabric because I wanted to allow the light to shine through and penetrate the room. During the day, semi-transparent curtains ensure the lamp’s translucency, letting in the sun.  After dark, a pleated curtain ensures a comforting, understated light that works beautifully in every surrounding, creating a comfortable atmosphere. On top of that, thanks to the fabric we’ve used, MIST creates a magical visual effect –  when you turn on the light, it seems like the top cover of the lamp is floating gently in the air.

M: What was the main technical challenge with creating the product?

MG: The hardest part was to find a proper solution to make it look soft and transparent and, at the same time to obtain a high level of blocking and sound-absorbing quality. With cooperation with Mute’s product technologists, we’ve done that using invisible wall made of plexiglass that also creates acoustic cavities on both sides of the product. Part of the soundwaves are “caught inside,” and because of that, the lamp limits reverberation.

MG: Finally, what are the key features of well-designed products, in your opinion?

M: Lovability 🙂 Shape, function, ease of use. And, of course, sustainability. When you think about it, the world doesn’t necessarily need more chairs or lamps. So, when you are creating something new, it’s good to ask yourself if you are adding something interesting to the surroundings without taking too much from the environment. I am glad that Mute looks at that issue the same way.

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Jargon Buster  Lighting Words Animation
Jargon Buster: Lighting
4 min read

7 most commonly used concepts that you may be unfamiliar with

Every world has its jargon – and the Lighting world is no exception. This article is meant to help you cut through the noise of lighting industry’s tough-to-decipher acronyms and expressions so that you can discover the true value behind the buzzwords. Take a look and see what’s the difference between strength of light and light output, what does UGR stand for and what the hell is Microprism Diffuser. Here we go! 

 

Strength of light – W (Watt) 

Traditional way of measuring the light showing how much energy is consumed by lighting source. This way of measurement was working well with traditional lighting bulbs, where the higher the wattage lamp is, the brighter it is. However, after LED lighting emerged, it became ineffective. Why? Because now it doesn’t necessarily show us the real brightness of light – LED lighting consumes a lot less energy while providing more light than incandescent lamps. Classic bulb is not effective as professional LED Lighting, because it changes most of its energy into heat, not in light. 

 

Light output – LM (Lumen) 

The real unit of light used in lighting measurement. Basically, Lumen is the total amount of light emitted in all directions from the source. The higher the lumen rating, the “brighter” the lamp will appear. It is a way more effective and practical solution to measure lighting because with low energy LED lamps, more Light Output can be achieved with much less power consumption. For example, a 6.5W LED lamp will give a similar light output to a 50W bulb lighting. That’s 87% less energy (Watts) for the same light output!

Jargon Buster - Lighting on desk

LX (Lux) 

Lux is a measure of illuminance. It’s the total amount of light that falls on a certain surface.  The same Light output can provide different Lux levels, depending on the place we want to measure. For example, if you hang a lamp which gives 2500 lm. only 0,5 m. above the surface you want to illuminate, you will get a lot higher level of LX than when you place the same lamp few meters higher. LX level has a direct impact on the comfort of work.  

Bellow you can find recommended Lux levels in different interiors: 

→ Office, meeting room – 500 lux